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College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences


Smart Stuff with Twig Walkingstick: Backyard Fruits That You Can Grow (for the Week of March 1, 2009)

March 1, 2009

Q. Dear Twig: OK, here's another kiwifruit. So what did you mean, "more cool backyard fruits" last week?


A. Thank you. Chomp, chomp. I meant that you can grow a lot of other fruits in your own backyard, not just kiwifruits. (And you can grow those, too, if you want to.)

Like what? Well, in most places you can grow apples.

And peaches.

And pears and plums.

And grapes and cherries and peaches and apricots.

Strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries.

Plus weird ones, too, that you might not find in a grocery store: pawpaws, currants, mulberries, Juneberries, gooseberries, even ground cherries.


Next: Why would you want to do this? A good way to learn how to do this. And a chance to win that good way free.



P.S. Q. Why do elephants hide in strawberry patches? A. The research is inconclusive.



The fruit types listed are for Midwestern growing conditions (like in Ohio, where I live). Others include quince, medlar, bush cherry, Cornelian cherry, persimmon and highbush cranberry.

Source: A new book on how to grow fruit in your own backyard that you can read about and maybe even win a copy of next time.

Meantime, if you're eager to learn, maybe try and start to dig around.

Q. Why do elephants paint their toenails red? A. To hide in a strawberry patch or in plantings of certain kinds of grapes, apples, cherries, currants, raspberries, gooseberries, mulberries, bush cherries or highbush cranberries depending on the shade they use.


About This:

"Smart Stuff with Twig Walkingstick" is a weekly feature for children (ages 9+; 4th grade reading level) about science, nature, farming and the environment. Online at

Brought to you by your scientific friends at The Ohio State University — specifically, at the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC) ( and with Ohio State University Extension ( OARDC and OSU Extension are the research and outreach arms, respectively, of Ohio State's College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences.

Written by Kurt Knebusch of OARDC and OSU Extension. For details, to ask Twig a question, and/or to receive the column free by mail or e-mail, contact Kurt at CommTech, 1680 Madison Ave., Wooster, OH 44691;; (330) 263-3776.

Kurt Knebusch